Orly Taitz, so-called "birther queen" and chief proponent of the President-Obama-is-a-secret-Kenyan-Muslim conspiracy theory, is running for the Republican nomination for California Secretary of State today, and she might have a shot. Taitz is persona non grata in both the GOP establishment and the Tea Party these days, but apparently she has some support among the California Republicans paying attention to this down-ticket race. Here are her chances and what it could mean if she won.

  • Why She Might Win  Salon's Alex Pareene explains, "Taitz' opponent has apparently barely even campaigned, just relying on the fact that he's running against a crazy person to win the nomination. (Taitz, meanwhile, has filed a number of suits against him, attempting to get him off the ballot because he was once a registered Democrat.) But that might not be enough. ... It is a down-ballot race in a midterm primary election, so, really, anything can happen."

“It’d be a disaster for the Republican party,” says James Lacy, a conservative GOP operative in the state. “Can you imagine if [gubernatorial candidate] Meg Whitman and [candidate for Lt. Gov.] Abel Maldonado — both of whom might have a chance to win in November — had to run with Orly Taitz as secretary of state, who would make her cockamamie issues about Obama’s birth certificate problems at the forefront of her activities?”

“There is no Republican candidate for statewide office that would be willing to have her campaign with them,” says Adam Probolsky, a spokesman for the Orange County Republican Party.

But longtime California GOP strategist Allan Hoffenblum, who publishes the California Target Book, says a Taitz victory is entirely possible. “It will be a complete embarrassment if she wins, but these things can happen,” he said.

  • But National GOP More Welcoming  Talking Points Memo's David Kurtz writes, "Birther queen Orly Taitz was the 'special guest' of the Republican Jewish Coalition at a weekend event in California that also featured luminaries like Karl Rove, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Senate candidates Chuck DeVore and Carly Fiorina."
  • Liberals Thrilled  Liberal blogger BooMan writes, "I hope Taitz wins her election tonight because it will shine a bright light on what the Republican Party is becoming. We can hang Taitz and Paul around the necks of Republicans in every race this fall. And it will be very, very helpful in beating back the idea that we'd benefit from a divided government."
  • So What?  Gawker's Jim Newell shrugs, "Orly Taitz could win her GOP primary tomorrow for California secretary of state—a high-ranking position that involves certifying election results! ... What else does a California secretary of state primary candidate run on, anyway? The ability to stamp pieces of paper with numbers on them? Anyone who can fire up any sort of base whatsoever could flourish in a primary like this."